Niagara Gazette — ORCHARD PARK — Coming off a lopsided loss to New Orleans, coach Doug Marrone and the Buffalo Bills are fired up to kick off the second half of their season by hosting unbeaten Kansas City.
“I’m ready to go,” said an animated Marrone during Monday’s news conference. “I don’t want to miscommunicate that I’m disappointed in our record. I’m disappointed. We’re all disappointed. But there are things that I’m also excited about with this team. I’m excited to go into the second half of the season.”
Resilience has been a buzz word around Buffalo (3-5). Losers of three of their last four, the young Bills will have their resolve tested by the Chiefs.
“Guys are still confident,” said running back Fred Jackson. “We’ve got a good opponent coming in this weekend that gives us an opportunity to go out and win against a team that’s 8-0, give them the first loss of the season and try and build on that.”
Buffalo has dealt with a barrage of injuries to skill positions. Already missing quarterback EJ Manuel (knee) and running back C.J. Spiller (ankle), the Bills now are monitoring receivers Stevie Johnson and Marquise Goodwin after injuries in Sunday’s game.
Marrone said X-rays on Goodwin’s left elbow came back negative and that both receivers would be limited when the Bills return to practice Wednesday. Johnson’s hip flexor is a little less certain, but the receiver is optimistic.
“Right now, I feel it a lot, but as the week goes on with treatment, I should be good and ready to go on Sunday,” said Johnson, who didn’t know if he’d need an MRI.
The Bills coach also said the team will be “ramping up” Manuel this week in an effort to get him back on the practice field. The rookie continues to recuperate from a right knee injury suffered against Cleveland in Week 5.